Disappointment: Its Modern Roots from Spinoza to Contemporary Literature (Hardcover)

Disappointment: Its Modern Roots from Spinoza to Contemporary Literature By Michael Mack Cover Image

Disappointment: Its Modern Roots from Spinoza to Contemporary Literature (Hardcover)


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Considering the support behind Brexit and Donald Trump's 'America first' policies, this book challenges the idea that they are motivated solely by fear and instead looks at the hope and promises that drive these renewed forms of nationalism. Addressing these neglected motivations within contemporary populism, Michael Mack explores how our current sense of disappointment with our ecological, economic and political state of affairs partakes of a history of failed promises that goes back to the inception of modernity; namely, to Spinoza's radical enlightenment of diversity and equality.

Through this innovative approach, Spinoza emerges less as a single isolated figure and more as a sign for an intellectual constellation of thinkers and writers who - from the romantics to contemporary theory and literature - have introduced various shifts in the way we see humanity as being limited and prone to disappointment.

Combining intellectual history with literary and scientific theory, the book traces the collapse of traditional values and orders from Spinoza to Nietzsche and then to the literary modernism of Joseph Conrad and postmodernism of Philip Roth and Thomas Pynchon.
Michael Mack is Reader in English Literature at Durham University, UK. Formerly he has been a Visiting Professor at Syracuse University, a Fellow at the University of Sydney, and lecturer and research fellow at the University of Chicago. He is the author of six books, including How Literature Changes the Way We Think (Bloomsbury, 2012), Spinoza and the Specters of Modernity (Bloomsbury, 2010), and German Idealism and the Jew (2003), which was shortlisted for The Koret Jewish Book Award 2004. He is the editor of the Palgrave Companion to Literature and Philosophy (2018)
Product Details ISBN: 9781501366864
ISBN-10: 1501366866
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication Date: January 14th, 2021
Pages: 296
Language: English